Degree Name





Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Dr. Jane López

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Jacob Rugh

Honors Coordinator

Dr. Michael Cope


female genital mutilation, FGM, immigration, group threat, Ohio, female circumcision


This research examines the public attitudes towards the criminalization of female genital mutilation (“FGM”) in Ohio in 2018 with the passage of S.B. 214. Content from The Columbus Dispatch, testimony in favor of the bill, and an oral history with a current Ohio Senator who was a House Representative in 2018 were used as data in this research. Data are examined using group threat theory to better understand the attitudes of the Columbus public towards trends in immigration and FGM. Results find that anti-Islam and anti-African sentiments (and specifically anti-Somali sentiments) were widely found in these data, as well as the portrayal of mother heroes fighting against FGM. Linguistic choices in these texts portray FGM and individuals/groups associated with FGM as “primitive” and “violent.” This research helps us understand why this law was created when it was and with as much support as it had from Ohio legislators, as well as gauges Ohioians’ opinions towards FGM and immigration before and leading up to the passage of S.B. 214.